I woke up at 06:04 today; I must’ve been successful in getting my body back into the routine of waking up at 6 am to go to the gym. We had a few household things pencilled in for our calendar today: pick up new glasses, wedding rings. Important things. We also needed to do the mundane things like buy groceries, which we’d considered doing with Julian at St Lawrence Markets (he needed apples, we needed berries). I also had a few work things to do over the weekend: more data analysis for last year’s breast project and read another MRI journal article for my rounds presentation Monday-week. So I got up. And we did it all. Plus we went out for lunch with Julian (he drove us across the city to choose wedding rings and to pick up my glasses, after the farmers’ markets). Then we had a relaxing afternoon at the Metser-Friedman’s enjoying a last summer afternoon splashing around in their pool, before a BBQ dinner and another Eton mess (it’s our second this week). And there’s still one more day of the weekend to go. Nice.
The Evergreen Farmers’ Market has a good variety of colourful fruit and vegetables. I even found a chorizo in a blanket. It dripped with oil. It was delicious. It wasn’t as crowded as St Lawrence but I quickly had enough of negotiating wandering around other people. Julian had bought me a coffee from Starbucks on our way out but I’d been up since 6, spending three hours on work stuff, so I was in a daze.
Choosing a wedding ring is difficult. We’re on a limited budget here, having burnt swiftly through savings travelling so much last year, with another year to go before we are due to head back to our “real” lives. I already bought a simple stainless still ring down Church St a month or two ago; it was only $45. You add the word “wedding” in front of a ring and it’s at least 10 times the price. I wasn’t planning on buying another ring; I don’t even wear jewellery. Dan still needed a ring though and we’ve spent two months holding out to get in touch with a friend of a friend, who designs and makes jewellery. Dan has called and emailed and we’ve heard nothing, so she’s either on an extended vacation (with no cover for business) or isn’t interested. The wedding is 5 weeks away. Dan searched online last night, Googling “Toronto jewellery”, and found a few designs where the showroom was on Queen St West. He added the address to our shared calendar for today. I had to be present too, to support his decision (and not repeat what I said last time, “You like that one!?“).
The shop was an interesting setup: several designers displayed their work in a small shop front and there was a studio heading further back into the space. A few women and one man were on staff, either looking happy standing behind their counters or busy cleaning or just looking busy. Daniel started to browse. I sat down on a couch and watched everybody. A woman with dark, curly hair on the floor greeted Daniel after a few minutes, friendly and welcoming, without pretence. “Are you looking for rings?” Daniel explained that he was and why. I was pleasantly surprised at the helpful efficiency of our salesperson; she briefly questioned what Daniel’s needs were and gave him the rings to try on but also relevant advice. And not too much. She left us for a while.
After several minutes of trying on nearly every ring in the rack Daniel decided on one he liked, and had questions. I don’t have a vocabulary to describe jewellery but I read the interpretation in the ROM about rocks. I asked about the thickness of the ring. “Do you mean this way, or this way?” the woman asked. Turns out I was referring to the ring’s width, not thickness. I warmed to our salesperson, a very rare event. I didn’t feel pressured (I actually wasn’t meant to be buying a ring at all) but at the same time I didn’t feel brushed-off. So many times I walk into a store and the salesperson is either disinterested or hopeless at reading responses (last week I tried a new season Canada Goose jacket just to see what it looked like, but also because I might have bought it but the guy kept talking at me telling me things I had no interest in, or were wrong, even after I corrected him: I already have a winter jacket, I know what I wore underneath it last year, I know how the annoying zipper works, just go away and leave me alone).
I was so impressed with our salesperson who’d nearly finished explaining to Daniel & Julian why precious metals like gold and white gold were preferred for durability that I tried on a few rings that caught my eye. I found one that I really liked so I requested a quote too (it was in silver but the design would change and dull over time with constant wearing so I’m waiting to find out how much it will cost in a metal that isn’t so soft). We were all smiles by the time we left. The woman disclosed that she loved how we hadn’t told each other what to like (apparently a lot of couples come in and one person tells he other what to like). I explained I’d already learned the hard way to just smile and nod and support the choice of something I’d never have to wear anyway. I almost skipped out of the building. Another weight off our shoulders.
I’ve stuck with the thick-rim fashion but compromised with the straightest frames I could find. I have an ability to break my glasses so I got some without the little plastic nose bits. I hope I don’t break these any time soon.
It’s been a fortnight of casual going with the flow (very weird for me as I usually have everything planned months in advance and don’t cope well with sudden changes of plan). Ur & Israel had a free afternoon today and invited us over for a last summer swim, before the sun disappears and the country is covered in a layer of snow until mid next year. Leaves are already yellowing outside and a few days this week I’ve had to wear my gloves. It’s already winter by Perth standards; 10 to 14 degrees Celcius earlier in the week. Bec was away today and Julian had tickets to see Wicked so it was just Dan, Alastair and myself.
The kids were super excited and took each of us in turn to their basement playroom where the couch-and-blanket-fort had apparently now been renovated into a restaurant. I went first: I waited at the door and placed my order. Liad asked, very seriously, “Now, do you want the blueberry pie for dessert or…. apple?” I chose apple. Etye and Liad disappeared into the fort and fussed about while Leia tried to squash me, or climb on my head, I’m not sure how this related to the restaurant installation. My meal was soon ready. It was difficult to crawl through the small spaced to the “outside table” that had been laid out, with a lovely plastic vegetable salad, a teapot and tea cup (which was actually wine, with a little imagination) and a slice of pie on a small plate. I regretted last night’s leg workout as I tried to not fall backwards onto the jewellery box ballerina atmospheric music behind me. Leia established that I’d indeed finished my salad before clearing up, as I sipped my wine. I was given instructions to send the next guest down for dinner. Masters at creative play were at work.
Despite the gusty wind downtown it was 25 degrees Celcius midtown. That, with the heated pool, left us what seemed like forever splashing about. The twins were practicing swimming from adult to adult (each leg in a single breath-hold) and I was soon exhausted. I really began to appreciate Dad wanting to sit and drink coffee while I ran around Adventure World. Israel cooked on the BBQ and we went inside, changed, and ate dinner. Dan had baked meringue for Eton mess while we were in the pool but it didn’t cook right and was all gooey and stuck to the baking trays. It was a novelty for the kids but they returned for more berries, not meringue or even cream. We collapsed on the couches and chatted for the rest of the evening, as the kids were consecutively put to bed. After a warming cup of tea Ur gave us a lift home. Dan’s already in bed asleep. Our neighbours are only just leaving the building now; it’s Saturday night.